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Thinking Outside the Box
The current state of the supply chain has hindered many aspects of the automation industry, forcing customers to postpone planned projects and extending downtime of operations. When assisting customers under current circumstances the ability to offer solutions that aren’t straight forward and gets them back up and running can be very valuable. Understanding the capabilities of a wide range of products, old and new, is the key to being able to offer these solutions.
A customer had a Compact PLC that was using Modbus Plus to communicate to IO that was vital to the operation of the machine. The Modbus Plus IO failed and the only replacement was a Modbus TCP IO island. The communication to the distributed IO required millisecond response time for the process to operate correctly. Modbus serial to a Modbus TCP gateway was one option that was considered but the response time was not fast enough for the process to operate correctly. New product solutions would have taken months to arrive so that was an undesirable option. For older hardware with the supply chain in the current state sometimes a used part can be the solution to getting a customer back up and running. The solution that worked to get this customer back up and running was an NR&D ethernet communication module for the compact. This module supports Modbus TCP and IOScanning giving the needed response time able to be acquired and installed quickly getting the operation back up and running.